Turkish Author Acquitted of Insulting Islam

by Staff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 6.26.09

Author Nedim Gürsel, who was charged with insulting Islam after the publication of his 2008 novel The Daughters of Allah, was acquitted yesterday by a court in Istanbul. According to the Turkish news network BIA, the court said that “the novel as a whole does not have any criminal intent and does not represent a crime.”

Gürsel was charged after Ali Emre Bukağılı, a member of a group that campaigns against the theory of evolution, complained last year about the novel’s depiction of Mohammed, the Prophet’s wives, and the Koran. Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code, which deals with incitements to violence based on ethnicity, class, and religion, also prohibits the denigration of religious values. According to Reuters, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate—responsible for overseeing the officially secular country’s mosques—intervened in the trial on behalf of the prosecution.

Gürsel, who also holds French citizenship, teaches contemporary Turkish literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. If convicted, he could have been sentenced to between one and three years in prison. The plaintiffs have seven days to appeal Thursday’s verdict.

Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk faced a similar trial in 2005 for “insulting Turkishness” after comments he made regarding the Armenian Genocide. His case was eventually dropped on a technicality.

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

More

Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.

More

Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.

More